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Extra Challenges

Minority researchers in the US and UK face institutional racism in the sciences, New Scientist writes.

It notes that African Americans make up about 13 percent of the US population, but only about 6.5 percent of individuals with doctoral degrees. In the UK, meanwhile, about 7 percent of undergraduate students are Black, which New Scientist says is similar to the portion of Black people between the ages of 18 and 24. But, it adds that only 2 percent of PhD students at Russell Group universities are Black.

Additionally, New Scientist reports that recent figures from UK Research and Innovation show that when Black researchers receive funding, it is, on average, less than what white researchers receive, £564,000 versus £670,000. 

At the same time, researchers have to grapple with both microaggressions and more overt racism. According to New Scientist, only slightly more than a third of complaints about racism at UK institutions were upheld in recent years.

"It feels like I am doing two PhDs: one in biochemistry and one in race," the University of Sussex's Daniel Akinbosede tells New Scientist.